I was going to post something completely different today, but I have pushed the original entry to be scheduled + published next time. Why? Because I received a very surprising email through my phone's email inbox last night...
I don't normally do this... you know, enter competitions...nor do I let people know if I am part of any associations/organizations... and I feel even stranger sometimes letting everyone know I've won something, because it just seems to vibrate that slight tinge of 'vanity'. I love humility, and I love humble people, you see.
However, at a recent talk given by industry colleague and friend, Louis Pang, his words that were filled with such encouragement and passion, tugged at my heart and I caved. I finally swallowed my fear and I sent off some of my favourite images to WPPI. I have never entered before, its because I never felt like my work was good enough. I thought, oh my goodness, as if me of ALL people out of the thousands and thousands of entries submitted from all around tehe WORLD would even score a smidgent on the score board. So I just sat there in the shadows.
To those wondering what is WPPI, and why of ALL organizations I decided to plop my little bottom down and be part of this group, is because of its international influence, quality contribution to the industry, and the fact that most of the industry heavyweights are part of and back this organization. The top wedding photographers in the world like Marcus Bell, Jerry Ghionis, Susan Stripling, (and my personal fave) Cliff Mautner, etc just speak volumes of the calibre of work that circulates in this arena.
Anyhow, last night's email sent my hands and heart into a quivering state of unbearable joy, and disbelief. Because I was informed that one of my photos scored 3rd place in the bride and groom together category, and another 3 photos had scored an accolade of excellence. I literally shouted at Ju - omg!! omg!! and my fingers were shaking so badly because I thought it was unreal. It couldn't be true until I read it again and again and again to make sure I wasn't going crazy.
Here is the winning shot: The beautiful Matt and Mandy, from still one of my favourite ever weddings. Mandy/Matt if you are reading this, thank you for being part of something bigger than I ever thought I could imagine being part of.
Thank you so much to Louis for encouraging us that night to do just do it, and to my husband who puts up with my workaholic ways and supports me even though my love for my work drives him crazy at times, to my family who always encouraged me, and lastly and most importantly to God. I know I know... some of you out there are thinking, oh dear lord, here's another one of those crazy people doing the whole God speech. Please know I do mean it. I am so grateful and thankful to Him for everything. He gives all things, and makes all things possible. I am nothing personally and professionally without all the blessing He has given to me.
I say it again, I deserve none of this. And I will and always want to dedicate this back to our Lord and heavenly Father for being so so so so good and gracious. In the good, and even in the bad. I know Your hand of Wisdom works in ways we sometimes cannot understand but I continue to trust and be amazed at all of it.
So much love to you all!
ps: For those that want to see the 3 photos that were given an accolade of excellence, do let me know! I didn't want to be OTT in this post, so holler! ;)
pps: And to my dear industry friends, I've already sent you messages personally, but congratulations on your achievement too. So well deserved and I'm so proud to see where you are all heading! :D